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5 Unconventional Ways to Improve Your Bench Press

5 Unconventional Ways to Improve Your Bench Press

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there’s a few different things you can do to improve your bench press okay you can adjust your grip you can change your wrist position there’s all kinds of little things little nuances here and there that are gonna get you 1 or 2 percent difference on your overall power okay but let’s look at the big picture here let’s look at your overall training let’s look at how you actually time your sets and time your reps and let’s get you a good solid plan to improve your bench okay so I’m gonna give you five surefire ways to get more power and more overall strength when it comes down to the bench press and ultimately get a better chest I guess you could say all right so the first one that I want to talk about is explosivity and being very specific with how you time your actual tempo okay the tempo of the movement how fast you move the bar up or how fast you move the bar down how long you stay at the bottom of a movement etc so there’s a study that was published in the International Journal Sports Medicine took a look at 20 test subjects that were all resistance trained okay so they were somewhat experienced lifters and divided him into two groups randomly it divided them into a fixed power output group and a self-selected power output group and what that means is part of the group actually had a set tempo okay they had to move at about 80 to 100 percent of their overall max speed while bench pressing while the other group was able to select the speed at which they benched both groups were benching 85 percent of their one repetition max they did this for three weeks and what they found at the end of the study was the group that had a prescribed speed did a lot better they ended up having over ten percent of an increase in their overall strength so a ten percent increase in strength simply by being more explosive okay so they were saying that if a group was able to just determine their speed naturally and just kind of say okay I’m gonna bend to this fast or this slow they ended up getting 10% less strength gain in three weeks than those that were told hey you need to move that bar pretty fast okay now mind you the eccentric contraction you’re on the way down is normally where you get muscle growth okay but when we’re looking for power it’s different we’re looking for explosivity okay with that explosivity is going to come power with power comes strength with strength is ultimately going to come mass later on and we’ll talk about that when we talk about step two here or tip number two so let me show you what this kind of means okay so at the bottom of a movement we have what’s called the amortization phase and physics tell us that at the bottom of a movement energy dissipates okay so it looks like this here’s our eccentric face on the way down down down down down down down down here’s the amortization phase in between down and up and up okay so concentric phase eccentric phase concentric phase okay so what it is at the bottom of the movement this amortisation phase we lose power it dissipates okay so we want to keep that quick okay so we actually want to power through it we want to be more like this boom boom boom okay so if we work in a way where we are constantly trying to improve our speed we will get more power in explosivity okay that’s what we have to remember explosiveness will give us the overall strength and the power and this study proved that 10% in three weeks so focus on moving fast okay not all the time and make sure you don’t get hurt okay use a weight that’s reasonable now you might be wondering how long like how fast exactly should you go well there’s a study that’s published in the journal of strength and conditioning that found that tempos with both fast eccentric and fast concentric in low amortization periods have the most power increase so what that means is it’s not just about exploding up you actually want to explode down to if you can control it and we’re talking about a one-second eccentric in a one second excuse me concentric okay so we want one one one one okay don’t need tooth like violently explode it to the point where you’re gonna get your herself hurt but that’s ultimately where we want to go with that all right leads me in to the next way number two proper periodization people look at periodization in all the wrong ways generally they’ll look at it over the course of like a month let’s say I’m gonna do a month of strength training and then I’m gonna do a month of power training then they’ll look at that other month and they’ll say okay I want to do more hypertrophy work more muscle growth work okay so studies have now shown that breaking your periodization more into a weekly setup is going to allow you to get a lot more in the way of strength and power and ultimately muscle mass as well so the Journal of strength and conditioning research published a study on this as well okay they found that test subjects that broke up their power their strength and their hypertrophy work into one weak periodization x’ had better results because all had to do with the frequency of training okay so essentially by doing small amounts of each kind of work each week they were getting better results so in other words they would do probably their full body they probably do bench squat deadlift shoulder press big full compound movements one day focusing on hypertrophy work muscle growth work like more slow east inter contractions one day working on power explosivity just that rebound effect and another day working purely on strength going for maximal load okay by hitting each of those just one time per week rather than focusing only on a power area of your life then only on a strength area of your life it just worked a lot better basically when you bring in the frequency of training variables your body has more time to recover but it also has more opportunities to actively work in that area hitting power and strength once per week every week is going to be better than hitting it every single day for a month because you’re gonna have to rotate body parts you’re not going to be recovered and you’re just alternately not going to get the right kind of conditioning or the training variables that you need to have a well-rounded physique and get the power that you want okay so that’s just easy just hit all your variables okay the next one is the overload principle okay but doing it right okay overloading a muscle is not easy to do because you end up getting hurt so what I want to show you is a way that you can overload a muscle and I don’t know get a little bit more safety and honestly get a little bit more of the actual effect you want on the right target muscles so normally you could overload and you could have a spotter with you right where you put extra weight on and maybe that spotter helps you with the eccentric contraction on the way down so normally like overloading you’d be doing something like this so I might have a spotter with me that allows me to go nice and slow and do an overload ok boom bring it up and then they’d have me do that overload that works very very well not only for looks that works very very well not only for building strength and for building muscle but also for building power now I’ve got a little something going to show you to those of you seen my videos so I talked about Marc bill Marc bells a good friend of mine Mark Bell and Chris Bell they both remember the movie bigger faster stronger they that was them so they’re know all about that this thing is called a slingshot probably seen all over Instagram people think that this is just a power lifter tool it’s not that at all I mean it is that you see if I can fit it over my my arms here they have various sizes but I like to have it fit a little bit snug in any way so that it’s not gonna slide off so this is cool so this allows me to get that overall overload that I need it’s a nice thing is like the slingshot lets you carry about 10 to 15 percent more weight than you normally would and it helps you stabilize but also helps you activate the right muscles so one thing I like about this it takes the triceps a little bit less out of the picture so it makes it so you’re not having to use your triceps to push you’re using more of the shoulders in the chest ideally the chest as it brings it in so let me show you how this works a little bit you might hit my microphone for a second so nothing’s really changing except now I can overload and look at how much more power I have with this 225 boom boom I mean it’s a whole new world so you might be sitting there going well isn’t that cheating because you have something a device on you if I was going for competition like next to someone that was raw and wasn’t using this then yeah that would be cheating but what this is doing it’s allowing me to get adapted to a heavier weight so my muscles now develop the stability and have the ability to handle a heavier weight so now when I go use any kind of bench press or any chance movement without this on I’m actually stronger it allowed the proper activation of the chest it took muscles that shouldn’t be in the equation out of the equation so anyway that you can overload okay whether you use a slingshot or a training partner overloading is going to be a great way to build power and ultimately build strength and of course build the chest that you want to build if you guys are interested because mark bell is a friend there’s a link down below in the description so you can check out the slingshot you probably sell my video before I talked about his hip circle so they have the same kind of thing for squats helps you just align keep the hips aligned so these things are awesome I have a couple of different sizes there I use you know the yellow one’s a little bit bigger depends on the weight that I’m doing what I’m working on but anyway definitely go check them out down the description below after you finished watching this video all right so I’ve got another tip for you too this one is gonna be about something not to do and it’s sometimes it’s inadvertent okay so how many times before someone bench presses do you see them do this it’s like subconscious right they just sit there they stretch they do this you see the old guys all around the bench press in the gym in the morning there’s five of them on a Monday morning they’re all getting ready to do their bench press they’re all sitting there going like well hey Jared what’d you do this weekend huh you know all the honey do list and had all the stuff to do you know and then they’re sitting there doing this or always stretching okay and then they go and they do their set and then they get down with their set and they scratch again it’s just it’s like this passive habit that people do static stretching will kill your strength do it after your workout do not do it before okay significant reductions in strength in fact there was even a study that’s published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and science and sport that found static stretching prior to any kind of resistance reduce strength by five and a half percent that’s a lot five and a half percent strength loss just by stretching why because it comes back to the whole tip number one we’re losing the explosivity okay the muscle fibers are getting stretched we’re losing the recoil we’re losing the rebound we want some of that rebound that rebound does help us and it’s a natural thing we’re not always going to be in a gym when we’re using our strength so we might as well apply what naturally exists our muscles naturally recoil let’s take advantage of that and get stronger so don’t stretch until afterwards afterwards do all kinds of stretching here’s a quick tip on size after you’re done with your benchpress do a static hold where you take a couple of dumbbells and you’ll hold them out sort of like this and what that’s going to do is those rapid big stretches actually boost igf receptors at the satellite level so it means add GF receptors become a little bit more open to IGF and growth hormone after a workout if you do a big static stretch but you have to do that static stretch waited and you do it after you’ve already done your strength work do not do it before lastly last little tip that people forget all the time this is a simple one bench dips are very very important okay so what I might do is in this case all right so here’s what I’ll grab I’ll grab this bench dips so simple but it’s one little motion at the end that’s going to train your triceps to be able to handle that top portion of a bench press top portions of bench press uses of course the chest but it’s that tricep activation at the end that a lot of people don’t have that gets them into trouble so do some kind of bench dip put a weight on yourself make it a little harder but you come down and then at the top I want you to thrust your hips up and lean back so you get a tight contraction on the triceps compared to this compared to this okay so dip and thrust dip and lean back and thrust it’s all tricep activation dip lean and thrust dip lean thrust see really easy that is going to help not last little push at the end makes a very big difference in terms of getting that overall just a little bit of power that you need so with these five tips you’re gonna be able to restructure your training okay hit your power you hit your exclusivity and hit your overall hypertrophy work every week okay and hit full body so you can hit each body part or each power move with each given training variable it makes a big difference and again with the overload principle or any kind of overweight principle use some tools that will help you out use a spotter if you’ve got one and do some eccentric work use a slingshot if you can get one I mean it’s a couple bucks and honestly it’s totally worth it because it changes your workouts or honestly just don’t be afraid to go a little bit heavier but take on the risk of getting injured if you don’t have the right stability or anything to support you with that so anyhow if you like these kinds of videos and you like doing I’m gonna workout instructional type stuff with me please put it down below in the comment section I’m happy to help you guys out with this but usually there hasn’t been a huge demand so if there is a demand let me know about it as always keep it lock and here my channel I’ll see you in the next video

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5 Unconventional Ways to Improve Your Bench Press

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5 Unconventional Ways to Improve Your Bench Press – Thomas DeLauer


Study – International Journal of Sports Medicine

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect on muscular strength after a 3-week training with the bench-press at a fixed pushing of 80-100% maximal speed (FPS) and self-selected pushing speed (SPS)

20 resistance-trained subjects were divided at random into 2 groups differing only regarding the pushing speed:

In the FPS group (10) it was equal to 80-100% of the maximal speed while in the SPS group (10) the pushing speed was self-selected

Both groups were trained twice a week for 3 weeks with a load equal to 85% of 1RM and monitored with the encoder

After 3 weeks a significant improvement was shown especially in the FPS group:

The maximum load improved by 10.20% and the maximal speed by 2.22%, while in the SPS group the effect was less than 1%

Shows that a high velocity training is required to increase the muscle strength further, even in subjects with training experience

How Long

A study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looked at the effects of varying interrepetition rest and eccentric velocity on power output (PO) and the number of repetitions performed during a bench press set were examined in 24 college-aged resistance trained men

On 6 separate occasions, subjects performed a set of bench press at 80% 1 repetition maximum until volitional fatigue

For each of the 6 repetition tempo trials, there were inter-repetition rests of 0 or 4 seconds; eccentric velocity of 1 or 4 seconds and bottom rest of 0 or 3 seconds

Tempos with a fast eccentric phase (1 second), and no bottom rest produced significantly greater PO and repetitions than tempos involving slower eccentric velocity (4 seconds) or greater bottom rest (4 seconds)

In other words, the study demonstrated that, when bench pressing, lowering the bar quickly (1 second) and, without pause, then exploding it upward results in greater power gains than a slow descent followed by a pause and explosive ascent

Obviously, don’t simply “drop” the weight toward your body, either – you want controlled reps


Study – Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

Findings suggest that an HPS configuration of DUP has enhanced performance benefits compared with HSP.

Hypertrophy, strength, and power adaptations are interrelated, therefore, focusing solely on one or the other for an extended period of time slows progress


As you bring the barbell down during the bench press, the Slingshot creates elastic tension on your chest, which allows you to use more weight than you normally would for the same number of reps

Because the bar load is partially supported by the elastic tension, the Slingshot can also reduce the amount of stress on the shoulders and elbows when the bar is on your chest

No Static Stretching


A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, conducted by researchers in Croatia at the University of Zagreb, looked at a total of 104 previous studies on stretching and athletic performance

The researchers only looked at studies where only static stretching was used to warm-up; excluded past experiments where people stretched but also jogged or otherwise actively warmed up before exercise

Found that static stretching reduced muscle strength by about 5.5% (and more when a stretch is held for 90 seconds or more), reduced muscle power by 2% and reduced explosive muscular performance by almost 3%

2 Bonuses:

Give the bench priority; seems obvious, but do it when you’re mentally and physically fresh

Don’t neglect delts & tris as they’re all used during bench pressing

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